This past weekend, Fever hopped into various vehicles for a drive down to Virginia! For many, the trip that was supposed to last around 7 hours ended up being 10, but eventually we all made it to our hotel late Friday night. This was the first tournament with split teams, and the first opportunity for many of the rookies to see just how tough the competition can be.
Saturday started off nicely for the "A" team with our first game being at 10:30 which meant a glorious extra hour of sleep. Our first game was against the University of Texas Melee. The game started out pretty rocky for us, Texas has some crazy fast girls. Eventually, we all got our game faces on and decided that we would not go down without a fight. That fight, I might add, we almost won. Final from the game was 11-9, Texas with the win. Our second game of the day was against the Maryland Helpful Corn (What a fun name, right?) This game was all about defense. We got beat deep and allowed a lot of hucks early on, but the coaches gave us some great tips and encouragement, and we came out of the half ready to go. Although we still lost, Fever was starting to get the engine going as we started to learn more about each other's playing style. Next up was the North Carolina Pleiades. These ladies has some really neat uniforms, let me tell ya. From the start of the game, it looked like we had finally gotten into somewhat of a groove. We had some good handler movement and some good cuts. Fever ended with the win in that game, but we knew that we had not done as well as we should have, but we were determined to bring the smack down on Sunday.
Sunday started off bright and early with our first game at 8 o'clock against the James Madison University Bitchmonkeys. This game was a tough one to say the least. The Bitchmonkeys had throw-and-go handlers, which is something most of the rookies hadn't seen before, so we had to adjust our defense to accommodate this. The game was really close the whole time, and Fever showed some great, and I mean great, shutdown "D". It all came down to the universe point, which was taken by the Bitchmonkeys. What we learned in the game though was that once the defense is good, everything else falls into place. Game two on the day was against some old friends, aka University of Michigan Flywheel. This game was probably my favorite of the whole weekend. The match-up was on point, and being that we've played Flywheel several times before, we kind of knew how they play. It was intense from the start with hardcore "D" on both sides with some beautiful hucks and stunning handblocks. It was an unbelievably awesome learning experience and Fever even came out with the win! The third and final game of the day was against the University of Delaware Sideshow. Here was yet another game of shutdown "D" with some 2-3-2 defense and a beautifully flowy offense. Fever pulled out all the stops to take the win in our final game and end up with 5th place overall.
This tournament was one of the best learning experiences I've had so far as a wee little rookie, but it was also really awesome to see how the whole team had grown over the weekend. I'm on the edge of my seat waiting to see what spring has to offer, and to see how not only how I, but also my teammates, will grow on our trek to Nationals.
Side note, the Buckeyes beat Michigan State on Saturday in a totally epic game. Go Bucks!